Photo City Tokyo

When it comes to great cities for photography, Tokyo ranks alongside New York and Paris. Japan’s capital is Asia’s top location in terms of the availability of photography-related information, with hundreds of collections being printed each year and a dazzling array of galleries and specialty stores for the photo lover. In this series we explore Tokyo through its photo culture.

Daikanyama Tsutaya Books: One-Stop Shopping for Your Photo Book Needs

Daikanyama Tsutaya Books is the bookstore where Tokyo’s creative community gathers. As the flagship store of the Culture Convenience Club, a leading force in Japan’s contemporary art scene, there is no better place for following the trends in photography and the books chronicling this art.
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Shimizu Harumi: A Concierge of Photo Books at Daikanyama Tsutaya Books

Few bookstores in Japan stock more photography books than Daikanyama Tsutaya Books, which has welcomed a steady stream of local and foreign visitors since opening its doors in 2011. Employees called concierges wield deep knowledge in selecting and recommending books to customers. We spoke with Shimizu Harumi, a concierge of photography books, about her work.
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Photogenic Places to Visit: TOP, the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum

Photography fans new to Tokyo should make one of their first stops TOP, the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum. Since opening in 1995, the museum has introduced outstanding examples of photographic culture from Japan and abroad, all presented in ambitious exhibitions organized with distinctive perspectives. From historic prints and moving images of yesteryear to today’s most famous and controversial works, TOP provides the full range of Japan’s—and the world’s—photographic culture.
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Photo Curator Itō Takahiro on the Photography of the Heisei Era

Few museums anywhere in the world specialize solely in photography and video. The Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, which reopened in 2016 after a major renovation, plays a singularly important role even in Japan, which is known for its robust photographic culture. We spoke with Itō Takahiro, curator of a major show at TOP, about the museum and the art it shares with the world.
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So Books: The Thrill of the Rare Photo Book Find

Set in a quiet Tokyo neighborhood, So Books offers patrons a wide selection of photography books to browse through, each carefully selected by discerning owner Ogasawara Ikuo. Whether shopping for a gift or having a casual look, customers will enjoy perusing the shop’s collection of hard-to-find items.
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Photography as Problem-Solver: Talking with T3 Photo Festival Cofounder Hayami Ihiro

There are many ways of engaging with photography. Hayami Ihiro, a photography director who links people with photography through regional revitalization projects, photo festivals, and other large-scale approaches, talks about the association between photography and society.
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A Feast for the Eyes and Stomach: Megutama, the Photography Book Café

Photobook Diner Megutama may be one of the only places of its kind in the world. Browse through this café’s collection of more than 5,000 photography books while enjoying healthy, seasonal dishes, indulging your love of the camera craft or just taking an unhurried moment for yourself.
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Talking About Japan’s Photo Culture with Photography Critic Iizawa Kōtarō

When discussing photography in Japan, one name that is certain to come up is that of Iizawa Kōtarō. Since beginning his career as a photography critic in the 1980s, Iizawa has gone on to organize exhibitions, launch the seminal photography magazine Déjà-vu, and otherwise contribute ceaselessly to the growth and development of Japan’s photographic culture. Iizawa spoke to Nippon.com about the ties between Japanese photography and the city of Tokyo.
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